Imagine living without power all the time. Imagine the winter months when sunlight is limited. Imagine living in poorly built homes burning gases like kerosene just to have a little light. Imagine the expense on your very limited budget. Imagine the pollution. Imagine living in the dark.
I can imagine parts of this scenario, as I live off-the-grid. My first three years off grid involved living a tent for six months followed by a dark cabin with one solar panel and propane lighting.
Solar and LED technology have come a long way in affordability and technology. Solar LED lighting can revolutionize and better peoples lives around the world. One company committed to such a goal is THRIVE Solar Energy.
We were sent a [amazon_link id=”B00P55DPI4″ target=”_blank” ]THRIVE mini solar LED light[/amazon_link] to try. These aren’t just any solar LED light. These lights are produced in developing countries instead of bearing the ubiquitous “Made in China” label. According to Business Fights Poverty:
I challenge you to look around for imports that are not related to foods or handicrafts. I bet you will come to my same conclusion: that imports of manufactured goods from the developing world are hard to find, especially technology goods. It seems to send the message that the developing countries are only capable of producing simple products, or that their place in the world is to feed us rich nations agricultural goods like chocolates and coffees.
This is why I am very proud of Thrive Solar Lanterns. It is a solar powered flashlight of sorts that us Americans could use everyday for our emergency kits or for when we go out camping. But more importantly, it is not “made in China.” It is made in developing countries like India, Kenya and Ghana. Have you ever seen a sticker with “Made in Kenya” before?..
The original customer base of Thrive Solar Lanterns use the lights out of necessity, being that they live off the grid or only have unreliable access to electricity. In America, they are being sold as a useful camping lantern or as a flashlight for emergency kits. In the developing world, the lanterns go for about US$2 – affordable enough for those that earn around US$2.50 per day.The solar lanterns retail for about US$15 for Americans on Amazon because of overhead (shipment costs and taxes).
There are 2.3 billion people who suffer from energy poverty with no access to reliable electricity outside of the USA. This represents a huge demand for alternative energy products like the Thrive solar lantern.
These lantern are well made and durable.
The [amazon_link id=”B00P55DPI4″ target=”_blank” ]Solar Lantern – Lightweight Solar Powered LED Light[/amazon_link] features:
LIGHTWEIGHT & DURABLE. 15 cm x 7.5 cm x 3 cm, 3 oz. Can fit in toolbox or emergency kits well. Stands on its own, can be handheld, strapped to your backpack, or hang from above. The ABS Plastic body makes it lighter than most battery-operated flashlights. The back panel is made from recycled plastics.
THE BEST LED LIGHTS IN THE MARKET. No light bulb! Made with a Japanese Nichia LED light-chip – the best white light in the market. Two modes of brightness. After one day’s charge under the sun, you can count on 5 hours of light in its brightest mode, or 8 hours under its normal mode.
NO SEPARATE BATTERIES NEEDED. It harnesses its power entirely from the sun. Built-in 0.5 watt solar panel makes solar charging easy. Just lay it down to soak in the sun to charge. Don’t worry about the rain – it’s water-resistant.
BUY & GIVE BACK. Know that your purchase supports villagers in developing countries where this product is made. Read more about that by finding Borgen Magazine on the web and search “Thrive”. This product is the recipient of a World Bank and IFC award for innovations towards the eradication of poverty.
6 MONTH PRODUCT WARRANTY. Functionally perfect.
We always need flashlights. Every time I grab an LED flashlight, it seems the batteries are dead. I hate batteries. Even rechargeable ones don’t seem to last. Skipping the battery all together makes me happy.
Solar calculators were quite common when I was a child 35 years ago. I am thankful they now power more little devices, like this flashlight.
My little annoyances with dead batteries in flashlights is nothing compared to the challenges faced by families in developing countries. The fact this great product was developed to benefit families, especially children, in developing countries before introduction to the US market speaks to the intention of the company. Borgen Magazine explains:
THRIVE first formed in 2001 as an NGO tackling the problem in India of 130 million children and their families depending on hazardous kerosene lamps for studying in the dark…
THRIVE’s Community Empowerment Business Model takes it one step further. The manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh in the southeastern coast of India employs 320 people, 260 of which are women. In many developing countries, it is an important poverty eradication strategy to empower women with employment as the benefits of it will act as a multiplier-effect on to their children and families. And to top it all off, the factory is also run entirely on solar energy.
Kakalia said that overall, the company aims to manufacture in the places where it needs its products the most. So while most solar lighting companies still source everything from China, THRIVE believes in manufacturing in multiple countries…
Additionally, THRIVE has formed a One Child One Light campaign with the help of a number of sponsors and partnerships such as The World Bank, International Paper (India), Oxfam, Sonata Software, Save the Children and Compassion International. Today, 650,000 school children have received THRIVE’s higher quality solar study light. THRIVE is currently supplying one million of its solar study lights to students with the help of IIT Bombay across rural India.
THRIVE’s work has influenced local government officials in the Tribal belts of India (Northwest and Central regions of the country) to declare a kerosene-free state.
Helping children and women, as well as manufacturing outside of China, THRIVE is improving the world!
You can enter a raffle/giveaway to win a THRIVE lantern. Just visit Facebook to enter.
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